The Truth About Pre Black Friday Sales

Score the best deals on clothes, shoes and accessories during pre-black Friday Sales

Are you missing out on the best deals by waiting for Black Friday?

My eyes popped and my heart pounded when I saw it. I had finally found THE COAT. It was sleek, sophisticated, fit me perfectly, was the most gorgeous cobalt blue color, and IT WAS ON SALE! About a month before Black Friday, it was 30% off, and I knew it was the one. 

So in all my infinite shopping wisdom, I was sure that on the biggest shopping day of the year it would be even more discounted, and I would score my dream coat for a screaming deal.

The clock ticked slower than ever as I stared it down, waiting for the sale to go live. As soon as midnight flashed on my phone, I was on the website and ready to purchase. But guess what? It was only 25% off and SOLD. OUT. It sold out long before the sale even started, and I missed out.

The coat I missed out on bc I skipped the pre black friday sale

is black Friday still the best?

My history with Black Friday started in high school. After the Thanksgiving food coma ebbed, the family room floor would be tiled with newspapers, as each adult in the family spread their personal copy across the floor and scoured the ads. Tossing aside the electronics and sports gear, I only had eyes for the clothes, shoes, and accessories I wanted for Christmas.

Over the years I set my alarm and braved the crowds to get the best deals on my favorite things. When Black Friday became an online thing, I stopped waking up early and started staying up until midnight the night before to shop, which was soooo much better. Thank you, Al Gore, for inventing the Internet.

pre black friday sales are the best

pre-Black Friday Sales are the best-kept secret on the internet

Aside from the random, crazy door busters, most clothes, shoes and accessories are their best price during the pre-Black Friday sales, and I don’t mean the few days leading up to the big day. Many items go on sale for LESS than the Black Friday sales in the weeks leading up to the big day.

I do most of my best fall and winter shopping in the weeks before the big day, and come the big event, I always check the prices on my recent purchases to see if I could have done better, and the answer has generally been no. The deals we much better got leading up to Black Friday than what was available on the day of the sale.

Shopping is fast and easy for me because I know my style. Take the Classic Style Twist quiz below to find out your style!

When to shop for the best deals

What does that mean? It means now is the time to start watching for your favorite things and purchasing, because the sales are already on! This morning, that same perfect coat is 40% off, and it comes in the most amazing Kelly green and electric red colors, not to mention classic black (which I already own)!

Sizes are already disappearing quickly, and by the time Black Friday happens, that coat will be long gone. I have this coat in (stops to count on fingers) five colors, so I already know it’s worth every. single. penny.

Retailers like Ann Taylor, Loft, Banana Republic, J. Crew, and others are having big sales right now, and sizes are still stocked. White House Black Market, Boden and others that don’t go on sale as often will likely have big sales in the next couple of weeks. You will get a better selection and the same, or better, prices.

There will probably be 1-2 collections that will come out between now and then, but for the current stuff, it likely won’t get any better. I mean, 30-50% off the new collections is about as good as it gets.

shopping the pre black friday sales

Do You do all your shopping Pre-Black Friday?

Checking out Black Friday sales is fun for me, but now I do it online just in case something I bought did get discounted more (it hasn’t happened yet, but it could). Some stores will do a price adjustment for you if you come later in the day when the rush has died down.

During the crazy busy times the answer will be no every time. And at some stores there will be a specific no pre-Black Friday price adjustments policy. You’ll also be able to get a sale price on the newest collections that were just released.

So what should you buy on Black Friday?

Retailers like Nordstrom, who don’t have a sale 5 out of 7 days a week, will have sales, but they won’t be site-wide like other retailers. Select items will be discounted, and in those cases, I go for the big ticket items: bags, boots and outerwear.

Yes, you can find $20 tees and $30 flannels, but the savings isn’t that great. On the other hand, scoring those buttery soft boots for 30-40% off could save you hundreds, and you will wear them for years and years. Buying your dream designer bag the one time a year it goes on sale is a purchase you will enjoy for a very long time.

There are clothes, shoes and accessories that will be good deals, but I will keep my eye on beauties like this bag (I may also see a herd of pigs flying over my house that day, but a girl can wish, right?).

Pre black friday wish list

The key to getting the best deals

It’s so easy to get caught up in the sale mentality. I wrote about this in the How to Shop Outlets like a Pro post. Don’t assume that because it’s on sale and it’s Black Friday that it’s a great deal. That item might go on sale like that several times a year, and you could wait to buy it when your budget isn’t being squeezed as tightly as Santa’s pants.

If there are specific things you are looking for, start watching the prices in the month leading up to the big day. See what normal sales look like. Everyone gets so excited about Amazon lightning deals, and some of them are fantastic, but some of them are the normal sale price you see about half the year.

Have a list

Being an intentional shopper, and a capsuIe wardrobe lover, I keep a list on my phone of items I want for my wardrobe (honestly, it’s a short list). Sometimes there are impulse purchases, but I know they go with my wardrobe because it is so cohesive. Before checking out the sales, I review my list and search SPECIFICALLY for those items.

Know what you are looking for or you will:

a. buy things you don’t want or need

b. get overwhelmed and quit or

c. overspend and hate yourself in the morning.

The Stunning Style Wardrobe Guides make shopping a breeze because they help you build a cohesive wardrobe that is SO YOU. The Winter Guide always launches BEFORE the sales start, so you don’t miss out on the items and sizes you want!

All the specifics of the Guide are so useful to me. It's been less than 3 weeks, but I already have a clear idea of what I love wearing, and a specific plan of what to buy...This is exciting! Thanks to April!

Shop Online

Let’s be honest, these days Black Friday starts a week early, but additional doorbusters or early-hour sales might be a little different. While your turkey is roasting, or while the kids are doing the dishes (uh, because they should), check out your favorite retailers for the items on your list.

And can I just add this: please don’t go shopping in the stores on Thanksgiving. Retail employees deserve to be celebrating with their families too. I find it abhorrent that retailers are ruining this holiday for their employees and for us. If you want to hit the stores at 12:01 a.m. Friday, go right ahead, but otherwise, let’s send the message that we don’t support this by withholding our dollars at the brick and mortar locations.

Chill. out.

This is not life or death, people. It’s things; it’s just stuff, and if someone gets the last one right before you do, oh well. The frenzy and the competitiveness can be contagious, but it’s not worth being rude, getting upset, or even worse, a fight. This is not the apocalypse and we aren’t fighting for food, medicine or survival. IT’S JUST STUFF.

I know you want to surprise your kid with the ungettable unaffordable thing for a magical Christmas, but it’s not important enough to ruin your day or anyone else’s.

Pre black friday reality check.

set a budget and stick to it

All of these great deals do you no good if you are paying exorbitant interest because you can’t afford to pay it off. I have a guilt-free clothing budget (and I shared why and how to create one), and I know what I can spend. It’s never, never, ever worth it to go in debt over clothes and shoes. NEVER.

start shopping early - Like now

See what is out there that matches your list, and then you can quickly check the price on Black Friday to see if it’s in your price range and worth purchasing.

You don’t want to miss out on the best prices of the season, and your size, by missing the pre-Black Friday sales.

Join the conversation!

Discuss capsule wardrobes and classic style with a fun community of like-minded women in the Capsule Wardrobes for Classic StyleFacebook group

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase through my links I get a small commission, but it doesn’t cost you anything extra. Thanks for supporting my blog!

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5 thoughts on “The Truth About Pre Black Friday Sales”

  1. Hi April, how did you make out with the J Crew coats? My Jcrew doesn’t carry the Lady Day coats so I ordered the blue one online & had it shipped to the store. I went to pick it up today & tried it on but was unimpressed, I thought the cobalt was a little dull. I also wasn’t feeling the style- just didn’t work for me. Hope you had better luck with the pink!

    1. Patricia, I love the blue on. The pink is definitely electric, but I’m still trying to decide if it’s a hue or a shade. It might be slightly off, or it might work for both. It has brown buttons, so if it works I’ll change for black buttons. The style is perfect for my pear shape body and style.

  2. Have never done the Black Friday experience. Can’t deal with all those people. And since our town doesn’t have any decent stores. It’s online shopping for me. “Thanks Al Gore for inventing the internet.” You crack me up, April! 😂

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